You Gotta Move CD-304
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you know about Fred McDowell, this is a must have item. If you don't know about Fred McDowell, this is a must have item! What can you say about Mississippi Fred McDowell that could do his music justice? He was real and you can feel it when you hear him play his delta slide blues. 15 of the 19 tunes on this CD were recorded in 1964 and 1965, near Fred's home. The quality is unbelievable, considering the time and technology. Fred's wife, Annie McDowell supplies a killer vocal on "When I Lay My Burden Down." Two cuts were recorded at Eli Green's place, out in the woods near Holly Springs, Mississippi. Eli was a mentor of Fred and they jam together to create lively renditions of "Do My Baby Ever Think Of Me," and "Brooks Run Into The Ocean," which was written by Green. The final tune, a real trade mark of Fred and the title song, "You Gotta Move," was recorded by the Rolling Stones, shortly after they heard it. The energy is high throughout this 64:04 minutes of great slide blues."
What an introduction to Mississippi Fred McDowell
Steven A. Peterson | Hershey, PA (Born in Kewanee, IL) | 05/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fine album, introducing Mississippi Fred McDowell in a raw recording. For the most part, just him, his guitar, and the person recording the session. Recordings were done in 1964 and 1965. McDowell learned to play the blues in the 1920s, from records of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charlie Patton, and Eli Green, among others. Late in life, his music achieved great visibility when one of his classic tunes, "You Gotta Move," appeared on the Rolling Stones' "Sticky Fingers."
Some cuts to give a flavor of his music. . . .
"Write Me a Few Lines." The bottle neck guitar style is well done by McDowell. He asks his baby to write him a few lines. The guitar playing is nice; his voice suggests that he has done a lot of living.
"Fred's Worried Life Blues" begins with a couple lines:
"You make me weep,
And you make me moan."
The voice is a great blues voice and his spare guitar accompaniment fits the work well. Another great line (if I hear it properly) laments the fact that when he had money, he had a lot of friends.
"Bulldog Blues" was an Eli Green song. Chris Strachwitz, who did the recording, went with McDowell to find Green so that the teacher (Green) and pupil (McDowell) could play together. Green played guitar and sang, and McDowell played guitar. A neat song. This, apparently, is only one of two recordings of Green's work (Strachwitz' tape recorder ran out of battery power after only a couple songs). There is a lot of fun in the singing, and the guitar work is nicely done.
And, of course, "You Gotta Move." Some great lines, such as:
"You may be high, you may be low,
You may be rich, you may be poor.
But when the Lord gets ready,
You gotta move."
The Stones covered this on "Sticky Fingers." It was rather lame, to be honest. However, they also played this on one of their live concert albums and that version was worthy of Mississippi Fred McDowell.
The recording quality is not great. But the chance to hear Mississippi Fred McDowell sing and play guitar renders that not very important.